Canada signed its name on the dotted line at the CPTPP signing ceremony in Chile on March 6th, 2018. But unfortunately, agriculture and other interested parties cannot afford to take pressure off the government.

The deal will take effect when six of the eleven participating countries have ratified it. So if Canada drags its feet and six other countries ratify, Canadian export industries, including agriculture, will be left behind in benefiting from improved market access to Asia.

Right now it’s looking unlikely that the legislation to ratify the CPTPP will be seen in Canadian Parliament before the summer break. According to John Barlow, the Conservatives’ associate ag critic and MP for Foothills, on RealAg Radio on Thursday, indicated, “countries like Mexico are moving fast on ratification, and while others will ratify with the stroke of a pen, Canada could be left out until it ratifies at a later date.”

By not moving forward on CPTPP ratification and passing Bill C-49 โ€” the rail legislation that’s already approved by the Senate โ€” the Canadian government is passing up easy wins. At a time where the Trans-Mountain pipeline and the federal carbon tax plan are facing constitutional challenges, strengthening the rail system and a trade deal with the Asian bloc should be easy priorities on the legislative docket, but that is evidently not the case.

Listen to Barlow’s comments on CPTPP ratification in Ottawa:

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